REGION H WATER PLANNING GROUP MEETING
JANUARY 5, 2000
SAN JACINTO RIVER AUTHORITY OFFICES
LAKE CONROE DAM
1577 DAM SITE ROAD
MEMBERS PRESENT: James Adams, Chairman, Gary N. Oradat, Roosevelt Alexander, John R. Bartos, Robert Bruner, Judge Robert Eckels, Judge Mark Evans, Mary Alice Gonzalez, Commissioner Jack Harris, David Jenkins, Carolyn Johnson, Tom Manison, Marvin Marcell, James Morrison, James Murray, Ronald Neighbors, Tom Ray, Ernest Rebuck, Jack Searcy, Jr., Michael Sullivan, William Teer, Steve Tyler, Danny Vance, C. Harold Wallace, Kerry Whelan, Woody Woodrow.
PRESIDING: James Adams, Chairman
APPROVE MINUTES DECEMBER 1, 1999 MEETING:
Motioned by Wallace. Seconded by Harris. Motion carried.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS FOR 2000:
Motioned by Harris to approve slate of officers: James Adams, Chairman; Mark Evans, Vice-Chairman; Ron Neighbors, Secretary; Michael Sullivan, Member of Executive Committee; Harold Wallace, Member of Executive Committee. Seconded by Eckels. Motion carried.
LIABILITY INSURANCE PREMIUM:
Motioned by Evans to purchase liability insurance for year 2000. Seconded by Manison. Motion carried.
CONSIDER AND APPROVE REGION H UPDATE PUBLICATION:
Texas Water Development Board asked the language in the publication, page 2, be changed from "Revised projects were adopted by the Regional Water Planning Group in June 1999" to "The Committee approved them and submitted them to the Board for approval in October 1999." The change will be placed on the website.
Motioned by Eckels to accept. Seconded by Tyler. Motion carried.
PRESENTATION BY CONSULTANTS OF WATER SUPPLY TABLES 4, 5, AND 6:
Table 3 represented obligations of the major water providers and not specifically water demands. Table 4 is the current water supply sources. Table 5 is the water supply available to meet Water Development Board requirements of the Regional Planning Group by city and category: water user groups, "county other," mining, manufacturing, electric power, livestock, and irrigation.
With the approval of Table 3, Task II can be finalized and sent to the Water Development Board.
In February we need to approve Tables 4, 5, 6, and potentially 7 and 8. The first six tables are from scratch. Table 7 compares Tables 5 and 2. Table 8 compares 6 and 3 and looks at supplies and shortages.
Table 4 contained a breakdown of the BRA reservoirsí total system yield, which included more than the system yield dedicated for Region H. 137,293 acre-feet are the contract amounts and is the system's total yield not specific to any reservoir. When comparing source to demand, this figure can be backed out. The consultants are coordinating with Region C on establishing a total for the Trinity River, as the Trinity Run-of-River is below Lake Livingston, its main supply source. The return flow data availability is an issue in Region C to be addressed in the future. Table 4, total regional supply by decade, compares to Table 2, total demand for Region H by decade.
Submit comments or questions on Table 4 by January 19.
Table 5 is the current surface and groundwater sources or supplies anticipated available during drought of record to include the coastal basin numbers. There are four entities for the Neches/Trinity coastal basin. The Run-of-River amounts are by permit and/or ID number. There are additional yields in Livingston due to completion of the salt-water barrier. There are two separate values specified by permit for Livingston and for Wallisville. To get a true picture of Region H, take the last entry on Table 2, subtract 756 and add in 137 from the next page. The "county other" entities are water user groups, municipalities, water districts, or water supply corporations each defined by supply of surface water, groundwater, and purchased water, also all other unincorporated water districts unless they serve a city; then the city is identified.
The fluctuation in groundwater is a balancing act between available groundwater supply and necessary surface water supply identified per water user group. There is a limit to the amount of groundwater that can be pumped, so the numbers fluctuate as surface water or imported water is provided. There are allocations through multiple user groups to assure that one group is not penalized; yet where you have limited groundwater, the assumption is that growth will be in "county other" or surface water. As demand changes in various areas, the allocation of available surface water fluctuates. Water permits are segregated by basic user category: industry, irrigation, mining; then by seller, and the seller has to verify how the water is being allocated. You cannot divert surface water for manufacturing to irrigation. Fluctuations in manufacturing and irrigation are keyed to demand and that is a driver for the surface and groundwater supply allocations. As irrigation demand decreases due to municipal and industrial increasing, the water supply allocation need no longer exists.
Available groundwater supplies are assigned to those entities already using them. The new growth is assigned a surface water supply. That surface water supply is determined by how many cases there are where additional supply is already secured via permit, contract, or obligation to the water user groups. That allocation is between "county other" and the non-municipal groups. Table 5 assumes existing contracts that will be renewed at their current amount. There is no assumption of any increases, but it will continue at that level throughout the planning period.
When Table 5 goes to the Water Development Board, in order to meet Water Development Board requirements, the amounts will have to be -0- for contracts with an expiration date and no automatic renewal. That way we know what is solid legally and physically today, also to see how the individual areas have planned or whether or not they have tied up water for the future. If a contract has automatic renewal, it is assumed renewed. If a contract expires in 2035, it is shown as -0- for 2040 and 2050.
All river authorities know contracts for municipalities are going to be extended. Where the numbers are in regular type, which is where the contract extends to; anything in italics is assumed contract extension. Blanks in the table are generally for livestock, mining or where there is no groundwater used. A "comment" to the side will indicate it is assumed to be from local sources, Soil Conservation Service stock ponds, windmills, and mining, those numbers not represented in Table 4, but sources that tie back to entities of demand in Table 2.
Comments, changes, additions, corrections to Table 5 will be submitted to the consultants by January 19.
Table 6 is a compilation of information from Tables 4, 5, and the permits information, and indicates the current reliable water supply each major water provider has available to meet Table 3 obligations.
Table 7 compares Table 5, supply by water user group, with Table 2, and demand by water user group. Table 8 compares Table 6, the reliable supply available by major water provider with Table 3, obligations of the major water providers.
One of the key elements in the management strategies is to determine where the shortages are and what is the economic and social impact of not meeting identified needs where shortages exist. Public meetings are a key part of this process.
In Houston and Galveston Counties the numbers presented take into account the reduction of pumpage. That is not true in Fort Bend and other counties within Region H, which are still in the process of developing regulatory plans. In those counties the groundwater was used up to what was determined to be the maximum amount available, reasonably rechargeable from the aquifer, but does not include subsidence impacts. The demand outpaces the supply in total due to growth. The numbers do, however, take into account a certain amount of expected conservation and, in some specific cases, advanced conservation numbers.
Groundwater and subsidence districts differ. Subsidence districts are funded by fees; groundwater conservation districts are supported by taxes. When you cross county lines, you have different assessments. One concern is loss of local control.
The City of Houston Collaborative Strategic Plan is a plan for building a treatment plant, a distribution system, and coming up with an overall groundwater reduction plan dealing with groundwater conversion credits.
There is a move in two or three parts of the state by entrepreneurs to buy up land, fee simple, for the rights to the groundwater for marketing purposes.
The conservation levels in the reservoirs in the state are down to 71 percent.
TEXAS WATER DEVELOPMENT BOARD:
TWDB is in the process of setting up federal and state clearinghouse meetings. The Texas Water Development Board has met with the Corps of Engineers, Department of Agriculture, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Reclamation, TNRCC, and Texas Parks and Wildlife to identify endangered and threatened species, wetlands, and other critical habitats, cultural and archaeological sites. Meetings are scheduled for February 8 and 9 at the San Antonio River Authority; April 18 and 19 at the TRA Wastewater Treatment Plant at Grand Prairie; and June 13 and 14 in Corpus Christi.
Parks and Wildlife, the TNRCC, and the Water Development Board are mailing out a special booklet with photographs of stream segments in Region H.
February 2, 2000
San Jacinto River Authority Office
Lake Conroe Dam